Archive for ‘audience’

May 21, 2012

History Channel

The Wisconsin Museum of Broadcasting is definitely one of my favorite clients. Not just because they’re a great organization with great ideas, but because they have realized those ideas so well.

I’ve written before about how much I like this online museum. Now, thanks to the must-watch-TV event of Recall Season here in Wisconsin, I get to write about it again.

It’s cool that the debate between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will be aired live throughout the state, thanks to the efforts of the WBA Foundation. And it’s awesome that this debate will soon take its place in the special Political Debates exhibit that the museum maintains. What’s really special, though, is that journalists and history buffs and political junkies can prep for the debate by watching the PREVIOUS gubernatorial debate between these same two candidates. That’s right—Tom Barrett and Scott Walker debated each other in 2010, and the museum has preserved that debate in its entirety and made it available to the world.

Just go to the museum, navigate to the Political Debates section, and click on the 2010 debate. Happy watching!

February 13, 2012

Black & Blue & Pink All Over

College courses will teach it. Post-grad students will write dissertations about it. Still, I’ll never understand why the Susan G. Komen Foundation blew up its own brand a few days ago. And make no mistake, that is exactly what they did.

Yes, I understand politics. This blog is mostly about public relations, but my particular political belief system goes on display from time to time; it’s simply part of who I am.

This was never the case with the Komen message. The words “cancer” and “cure” once belonged to that message and were so tightly interwoven in it that there was no room for other words. Such was the strength of that brand. Then—and have I mentioned that this is inexplicable to me?—the decision was made to swap in “abortion” for “cancer” and “politics” for “cure.”

So now we’re all learning yet another lesson in the power of Twitter. And the importance of brand consistency. And the necessity of a strategic and integrated crisis communications plan. But if we want to avoid becoming the next Komen Foundation, we should probably make a point of also relearning some Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true.”

September 26, 2011

Little Touch, Big Brand


Say you’re a fan of Duke University’s legendary Blue Devils basketball program. (I know, Bucky, but say you are.) How happy will you be to come across this delightful little twist on two universal symbols? Tickled blue, right?

As always, it’s the little things that matter. And at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, even signage for the ladies’ room is an opportunity to reinforce brand perception.

I mention it because this is the work of ZEBRADOG, a nationally known branding and design firm based in Madison. Their work is more than just this small sign, of course; ZEBRADOG does big-idea projects all over the place. Including lots of work for your favorite team. And this particular Devil In A Blue Dress is an example of how ZEBRADOG never misses a chance to tell the story of a client’s brand in a new, creative and engaging way.

The same is true of other Cherry Street Agency clients, even when the story they’re telling is their own.

Cases in point: A fundraising pitch for the online Wisconsin Museum of Broadcasting is an actual commercial, right on the website, complete with the “We Interrupt This Program” announcement familiar to anyone who watched pre-cable television. And the Clean Lakes Alliance regularly sends Lake-O-Grams to supporters as a nod to the mail boats of a bygone era.

Convincing, creative and brand-consistent. The experts will tell you that attention to detail matters. That even one little thing can have a big impact on a consumer, a reader, a viewer, a fan. Someone should remind them of how this is especially true if that one little thing happens to be a teeny-tiny little blue pitchfork.